Arbiter of elegance Coco Chanel once famously proclaimed:
"Before you leave the house in the morning, look in the mirror and take one thing off."
In one of my favorite poems, ONE ART, Elizabeth Bishop advises us to "Lose something every day."
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
And, as many of you know, I'm a huge fan of the board game Transformation (introduced to me by my great friend, the phenomenal writer/artist SARK).
The women who created the game now have an app (one you have to pay for) where you can ask a question and then chose an angel card for advice.
But here's the thing: you can only ask one question and receive one angel card a day.
Only one question and one angel every 24 hours.
Doesn't that seem, on an angelic level, rather... stingy?
Are angels really that over-scheduled?
Or, once again, is less really more even when it comes to Angelic Intervention?
My NYC teaching schedule has expanded in 2018.
I'm now teaching two Chill classes a week at Exhale and subbing others.
Chill classes are based on restorative poses, where I set students up in sustained shapes with lots of props (blocks, blankets, straps) and simply leave them there for 3, 5, even 10 minutes. In addition, there's some meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises).
Although I've been sharing restorative poses with group classes and private clients for nearly two decades, I've taught few purely restorative classes.
When I first began teaching Chill / Restorative, I found myself slightly ... "unnerved" might be the best word ... by my needing to do less.
It's a completely different vibe than other classes where we might start and end with stillness, but for an hour or more I direct a continual current of movement and breath.
Instead, in Chill classes, I demonstrate and explain the set-up of the sustained pose.
I ask if anyone is uncertain or uncomfortable.
I walk around the room and make a handful of adjustments.
And then I allow everyone to have several deep minutes of silence.
In fact, after everyone seems perfectly set, I turn my iWatch timer on and sit there and meditate (while scanning the room).
I don't have to constantly be offering challenges, or original choreography, or alignment information. Initially that made me slightly... uncomfortable.
I realize how deeply my default setting is that I should always be doing something MORE, always offering MORE, always producing MORE.
But in 2018, I'm finding myself (via my one angel a day), embracing the gifts of LESS instead.
This year, I'm practicing Chanel-like elegance by taking at least one thing OFF my to do list every morning.
Rather than "What else can I get done today?" I'm asking myself "Is this task really necessary?"
I'm exploring, as Elizabeth Bishop suggests, losing things "further and faster" (attachments, disconnected ambitions), knowing that "none of these will bring disaster."
And I'm realizing students are actually sometimes better off with me setting them up properly and letting them be, rather than filling the air with information and choreography.
Basically, I'm doing my part to stop the GLORIFICATION OF BUSY.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Busy is really
NOT the new Happy.
I'm embracing the Wisdom of Doing Less...and I invite you to do the same.
If you have a list of New Year's Resolutions, maybe scratch a couple of them off.
(I guarantee if you have fewer you will have an vastly higher success rate).
Or if you don't have any formal resolutions, decide what you'd like to take your attention away from, or even better, what you can let go of that would really change things for you.
As Don Draper once said on MAD MEN:
Make It Simple but Significant
And, let's look on the bright side: You still do get one angel a day... and honestly, maybe that's enough.
Namaste for Now,
P.S. As a New Year's Gift to you, on Jan 17th at 7pm NYC Time, my Wellness & Wealth Retreat partner, respected financial advisor Stefan Whitwell, and I are offering a FREE call:
We're not selling anything, just offering some practical wisdom and alignment, and we'd love for you to join us
If you want to lose some WORRY (farther and faster) from your life (and gain more Ease and Abundance), you're invited to